Ershter Vals, Cong / Klezroym
Chasing Cello, Soleau / Bach (World Premiere)
May 9 - 19, 2013
The centerpiece of the season's final program will be Ershter Vals, created for the company by award-winning choreographer Ma Cong. The work was selected by the Kennedy Center for performance in its Ballet Across America series, which showcases the spectacular vitality of American ballet.
Choreographer Ma Cong returned to Richmond Ballet to complete his moving piece, Ershter Vals. The ballet had its beginnings in the Richmond Ballet 2009 New Works Festival and was finished the fall of 2010, receiving critical and audience acclaim along the way. Ershter Vals features music originating in the Jewish ghettos during World War II, and uses engaging choreography to portray the light people find in relationships and communities, even in the darkest of times. Cong's captivating ballet weaves folk dance influences with classical technique while carrying a penetrating message of redemption.
This program also brings the return of a frequent company collaborator, New York choreographer William Soleau, whose newest work created for Richmond Ballet is whimsically and appropriately titled Chasing Cello. In this innovative neo-classic ballet, dancers interact with shadows, moving walls, and a cellist performing onstage.
Studio Four is performed in Richmond Ballet's Studio Theatre.
This performance will run approximately one and a half hours.
Purchase tickets here.
Studio Four Artists:
Ma Cong (Choreographer, Ershter Vals) started his career at the Beijing Dance Academy training as a Chinese Classical dancer before he joined the National Ballet of China in 1995, then Tulsa Ballet in 1999. He worked with directors and choreographers internationally and performed leading roles in works by Balanchine, Cranko, Robbins, Tharp, Duato, Kudelka, Kylian, Forsythe, MacMillan, Hans Van Manen, and many others. Ma has also appeared as a Principal Guest Artist on international stages across the world. As a choreographer, Ma has created original works for Tulsa Ballet, Houston Ballet, BalletMet, Ballet Florida, Smuin Ballet, Richmond Ballet, Ballet Nouveau Colorado, Ballet Des Moines, among others. In 2006, Ma was named one of the "25 to Watch" by Dance Magazine for both his dancing and choreography as well as The Choo-San Goh award in 2007. In 2008, Ma was the winner of the 21st Century Choreographic competition and also received the "Audience Favorite" and received the "Editor's Choice Award" from Pointe Magazine. Most recently, Richmond Ballet performed Ma's Ershter Vals at the Linbury Studios at the Royal Opera House to sold-out audiences. Ma is the Resident Choreographer of Tulsa Ballet, USA.
William Soleau (Choreographer, Chasing Cello) has created over 80 ballets on companies around the world. As a dancer he had the opportunity to work with many well-known choreographers such as Alvin Ailey, John Butler, Toer van Schayk, Antony Tudor, and Gray Veredon. He first gained international recognition as a choreographer in 1987 for his full-length work Universe for The Shanghai Ballet of China during the first International Shanghai Arts Festival. His works are in the repertories of companies around the world including Ballet British Columbia, Ballet de Montreal, Ballet Austin, The Icelandic Ballet, Ballet Met, American Ballroom Dance Theater, Ballet Florida, Ballet NY, State Street Ballet, and The Louisville Ballet, among many others. Mr. Soleau has created many ballets for Richmond Ballet over the past 12 years including Nuevo Tango, Faure Melodies, and his popular full-length work A Midsummer Night's Dream. Mr. Soleau was the recipient of the Choo San-Goh Award for Choreography in 2006. He presently serves as the Executive Director for the John Butler Foundation, Inc., dedicated to preserving and protecting the master works of this influential American Choreographer. He also is the webmaster and film editor for the Antony Tudor Ballet Trust.